Chelsea’s dejected players troop off after defeat at Crystal Palace

Joey Barton has written off Chelsea’s Premier League hopes and claims they are already out of the title race.

The defending champions were beaten 2-1 at rock-bottom Crystal Palace on Saturday and, even though they are fifth in the early season table, they trail leaders Manchester City by nine points.

And Barton feels they will now have to concentrate on battling the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal for a place in the top four.

Speaking as co-host on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Barton said: “Something’s not quite right at Chelsea. They’ve lost [Alvaro] Morata and they’ll hopefully get him back as son as possible because it doesn’t look like [Michy] Batshuayi is the answer.

“If you’re Chelsea, I think the title for them is over. I don’t think they’re going to be at that level this season.

“They’ve got to really focus on the Champions League, and making sure they get in the top four.”